READER REPORT:

Your precious environment: Te Arai Beach

LARA IRIARTE
Last updated 15:00 17/10/2012
A GEM: Te Arai Beach

A GEM: Te Arai Beach.

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This long strip of white sand beach is a mecca for local surfers, and surfers from Auckland.

It is enjoyed by day-tripping families in the summer. Te Arai is the last long stretch of undeveloped coastline on the East coast within a driving distance from Auckland.

The surf breaks are great and the water is crystal clear.

The pine forest directly behind the beach dunes has a land use zone which does not allow for it to be subdivided and developed.

However a developer and the local hapu Te Uri O Hau have applied repeatedly to council for a change in zoning restrictions to develop this land and sell off sections.

Development could alter the dune system, which could affect the surf break. Development would almost certainly affect water quality at the beach, particularly as there is no large mangrove system between the proposed development site and the beach to clean and filter any pollutants.

This beach is home to the critically endangered Fairy Tern, of which there are about only 40 left.

The surrounding area has many empty sections for sale, so it is not short of land for development. There is a golf course at nearby Mangawhai along with many other amenities.

The Te Arai Preservation Society is constantly fighting this development. I hope they prevail.

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